Writing Articles

Exploring Sci-Fi and Fantasy

Our students are passionately devouring science fiction and fantasy series. So why don’t our reading and writing programs reflect this? Some thoughts on harnessing the power of these genres.

Get Students Out Of Creative Ruts

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Sometimes students need a little structure to force them into a more creative state of mind. Here are a few ideas for interesting writing prompts

A Remix Library

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A list of stories inspired by older stories to teach your students about the history of reusing ideas.

3 Advanced Literary Techniques

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Students’ education about literary devices seems to max out with personification, similes, and other types of figurative language. But what about more complex tools?

Patterns In Writing: Conflict

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Discussing types of conflict is a great first step towards building a strong narrative. Although the term conjures up images of ninja battles for many of our students, conflict can take on many more sophisticated forms than physical fights.

Persuasive Writing: Holiday Vs Holiday

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Let’s write a persuasive essay about one holiday from the point of view of another holiday’s “mascot.” For example, what would the Easter Bunny think about Christmas, how would Santa feel about Valentine’s Day, and what would a Turkey have to say about St. Patrick’s Day?

Do More With “Story Structure”

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This week, we’re tackling the comprehension skill “story structure” featured in the Houghton Mifflin reading program. It’s absolute nuts and bolts (identify setting, character, and plot) and is part of the reading program beginning in Kindergarten. A quick pre-assessment verifies that my sixth graders have a thorough understanding of this material.